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This review is from: MSI K9N2G Neo-FD AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8200 ATX AMD Motherboard
Pros: Nice layout of on-board amenities and overall layout
Cons: 1) Very poor documentation (many circular references like "SVM Support. This setting allows you to enable/disable the SVM support." OK, could you explain WHAT it is?)
2) Very poor RAID support. Requires a special driver diskette before the OS is loaded (especially distressing if you're not installing Windows). Software-based RAID.
3) Only 1 SATA cable included. Could use 2 minimum -- many people are doing 2 drives these days, either as primary & secondary, or in a RAID 1 mirror.
4) Could use a second Gigabit LAN port. I bought this motherboard to run a business server. Dual LAN ports to support LACP (Link Aggregation) would be nice.
5) Does not come with either a speaker or the optional D-Bracket (with the diagnostic LEDs) in order to troubleshoot configurations. Either put a simple speaker on the board or include the D-Bracket standard.
6) No SATA disk is recognized by the OS (tried FreeBSD, CentOS and Windows Vista Ultimate), unless you install the RAID drivers.
Other Thoughts: This board's documentation could use a MUCH better explanation of how to use and setup in the BIOS the 6 SATA ports. The options for "RAID Mode" are IDE, RAID and AHCI. Huh? No explanation in the guide for what each does.
I could not get FreeBSD 7.0 or CentOS 5.2 to even boot. It always hung at the disk driver. This board may be returned to sender if I can't get it working in the next couple of days.
Pros: - 500W
- Abundant supply of long cables (they all reach)
- Round sleeves on all cables
Cons: I didn't get one sooner.
Other Thoughts: If you think a more efficient power supply costs too much to buy, consider how much a less efficient one is costing you in electricity usage...especially if you use it in an always-on server, like me.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: - Power supply on bottom-very nice! Now your power supply will no longer suck in all of the hot air that rises to the top. Plus, the PS goes behind the 3.5" drive bays, not at the top where people most put their 5.25" drives (i.e., nicer fit).
- Very flexible drive bay layout - put 3.5" or 5.25" drives anywhere up & down the front (3.5" with adapters, of course--1 included). Punch-outs on every bay to (un)cover each.
- More fan vents than I know what to do with (see Other thoughts).
- Top air vents (x2)--excellent for heat dissipation when side venting is impractical (like when you put multiple cases side-by-side or up against a wall)
- Toolless drive holders (except for the 3.5" bays).
- Very well laid out for space.
Cons: - No reset switch/button -- Huh?! This would've come in very handy for the past few days as I troubleshot my motherboard configuration.
- Front fan 3-pin cord is _way_ too short, doesn't stretch to the 3-pin fan connector on the motherboard (yes, they include a 3-pin fan to 4-pin power adapter, but then the fan isn't mobo monitored)
- Extra vents don't come with covers when they're not in use (see Other thoughts).
Other Thoughts: This is a very well laid out case with many possibilities. But, it could use some very low cost improvements in the next revision. Come on, no reset switch (what did you save by leaving that out, like $2)? Also, could you include a 3-pin fan extension cord? Hint: if you want directed airflow, not just in/out any of the open vents, use foil tape--the kind used on heating ducts--to cover over the unused vents. I covered over the sides, back and 1 of the top vents, so that air flows in from the front & out of the top--I put the rear fan on top. This is ideal for my situation where this case is side-by-side with others, rear airflow is impractical, and with directing airflow to the top heat won't collect at the top of the case.READ FULL REVIEW